Germany's Schaeuble opposes enlarging EU rescue fund

26th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Friday he was opposed to increasing the size of the European Union's crisis bailout fund, calling speculation of such a move "completely over the top."

"No, we have an instrument to deal with crises in the eurozone and we are working intensively on Ireland, which has made a request" to receive help from the rescue fund, Schaeuble said on Bayerische Rundfunk radio.

"I hope that by the start of next week we have the necessary decisions in Europe so that we can have calm on the markets again so that we can put an end to this completely over-the-top speculation."

He said: "At the moment we have a rather nervous situation because there is an incredible amount of speculation, with completely obscure comments suddenly taking on a meaning and unsettling markets."

In May, in the wake of a crisis over Greece, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund cobbled together a 750-billion-euro (995-billion-dollar) rescue fund for other eurozone countries in need.

But with speculation that other countries such as Portugal and Spain might need aid, reports said this week that the EU was considering doubling its 440-billion-euro share of this to 880 billion euros.

Late on Wednesday, the powerful head of the Bundesbank German central bank, Axel Weber, said European countries would not allow a speculative attack on the euro and would increase the fund if necessary.

Both the head of the fund, Klaus Regling, and the European Commission have ruled out an increase, saying it is adequate to cope with current problems.

© 2010 AFP

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